I have probably mentioned in passing that the weather we enjoy in Southern California is blessedly temperate. In fact, some days leave it difficult to distinguish the difference between winter and summer. To really get an understanding of the dramatic changes in season that others experience, we have two options - one, we book a flight to a remote destination and two, we resort to make believe. Sadly, this practice drastically alters our perception. When we do travel and come face to face with snow-capped mountains, falling snow, and icicle-lined roof tops, our only point of reference is Disneyland or Hollywood movies; we're so conditioned to making believe that we can't quite comprehend the reality. One place where we get the opportunity to play make believe is at a small chain of restaurants called Clearman's North Woods Inn. In our weekend meanderings, we found our way to the location in Covina, CA.
|The wacky wagon is in the shop so Mr. Tiny|
had to arrive the old-fashioned way.
North Woods Inn is an enormous, themed restaurant that tries to capture the wild atmosphere of a rustic, Yukon Territory inn catering to lumberjacks, fur trappers, and miners. Isolated in a subarctic climate, there were a few necessities that these great frontiersmen of the north would need.
The menu at NWI is not particularly vegetarian-friendly, aside
from their duo of salads and famous cheese toast.
Quickly checking off the items on the list, North Woods Inn establishes the fact that sometimes frontiersmen need a little bit more than just the basic necessities. That's where the wacky tacky checklist comes in; a swift scan of the sprawling interior shows that patrons are sustained by more than food.
|This photo is not upside down, the bear skin rug is mounted on the ceiling.|
|Ornate, Victorian-style lighting, check.|
I've always been told that I had a perfect face for radio;
NWI makes me think I have a great face for near total darkness!
|Tasteful nudes, check.|
What's a lumberjack to do? The north was a bitterly lonely place.
All of this photography left us even hungrier than when we came in. Which was a good thing because at North Woods Inn, one better be as hungry as a...
The portions are generous and the salad and cheese bread are endless!
|Finally the food arrived.|
Since the new year, I had stuck, very strictly, to a gluten-free lifestyle.
After two months of only mild suffering, and not achieving the desired results,
I gave up and ordered a sandwich on REAL BREAD!
|Mary treated herself to a chocolate sundae!|
North Woods Inn is not one of our usual haunts; we save it for adventure days and special occasions. Upon reviewing the doggy bag, however, we realized that we are quickly becoming regulars; we have been to four of the five Clearman's outlets (you might recall our visit to Clearman's Steak 'n Stein Inn - a wacky tacky favorite).
So, if you are a Southern California native looking for a quick trip to the "Great, White North" or a homesick visitor from a colder clime, be sure to check out Clearman's North Woods Inn - snowshoes NOT required.
Clearman's North Woods Inn
540 N Azusa Ave